The vibe on Thursday, August 1st at Philly’s illustrious Dell Music Center could only be described as alluring. Multi-talented R & B singer Major opened the stage with his humbling vocals swaying the crowd with several hits and purified swagger. Born and raised in Texas coming from a blended family of 13, this thirty-five-year-old continues to live up to his name. Beginning his success by way of YouTube, this artist is formerly known as “Choir Boy” transitioned from Gospel to mainstream R&B sound which landed his prime recording deal with B.O.E Music Group. In 2016 he released his premier EP “I Am Major” which birthed his smash single “Why I Love You” and made him a household name branding the tune a wedding song by legend Stevie Wonder. The song quickly climbed the Billboard Top 20 charts and held strong over 14 weeks in a row. His follow-up single “Keep On” also made waves while adding songwriter to his resume for the likes of Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes. But 2018 was really the breakout year for Major with the release of his second album “Even More” which gave him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Song and the Soul Train Music Centric Certified Award nomination for his track “Honest” and four 2019 nominations, including three NAACP Awards for Outstanding Album, Song and Male Artist along with his first Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional R & B Performance. This accomplished Baritone/falsetto crooner shows no signs of slowing down boosting his new title as actor casting on the Fox TV Series “Star” playing character Rashad alongside none other than Queen Latifah.
Neo-Soul and fellow R&B singer-songwriter Raheem DeVaughn took next on center stage with his intimate lyrics dazzling the ladies at the Dell. Raheem took care of business serenading the crowd with countless hits in his lucrative six-album career from 2005 breakout single “Guess Who Loves You More” powerful ballad “You” and the seductive track “Customer” DeVaughn had fans under his hypnotic spell. Born in Newark, New Jersey Raheem’s musical origin flourishes by way of the family, his father Jazz cellist Abdul Wadud and cousin Chrisette Michelle. His inspiration materialized from traveling with his dad on gigs to hearing street corner singers harmonize thus making music Raheem’s main focus. After taking a job at Jive Records rubbing elbows with managers of Dru Hill, DJ Jazzy Jeff and former A&R of Roc-A-Fella Records, DeVaughn signed his first recording contract in 2002 getting his first taste of life as a musician. Since then, DeVaughn’s musical career soared receiving several Grammy Award nominations, including Best R&B Album for his third LP “The Love & War Masterpiece”. Raheem continues to study his craft with the June 2019 release of his 6th LP “The Love Reunion”
The headliner of the evening was none other than the poetic India Arie. She graced the stage with her omnipotent spirit and soulful contralto vocals memorizing the audience flawlessly with her signature guitar in tow. India had the fans jamming in their seats to her endless array of hits from “Video”, “Brown Skin” and her impeccable single “Steady Love” displaying freely her love for music. Born in Denver, Colorado India also originated from a musical family background through her mom a former Motown singer who opened for legends Stevie Wonder and Al Green. India began writing while in college through “identifying her own sensitivity and understanding people better” as she puts it. Following her gift, in 2001 she released her debut album “Acoustic Soul” which skyrocketed top Billboard charts selling three million copies worldwide. Her second LP “Voyage To India” debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 within its first week and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart going certified platinum. Her success has to lead her to seven outstanding albums, four Grammy Awards, two BET Awards, and four NAACP Image Awards. Arie’s many talents have to lead her into television and film credits as well as theater proving she is a true gem.